The beginning of life according to the scriptures

Published 8:49 am Friday, May 24, 2019

Question: When does life begin?
Answer: As we consider the beginning of human life we should understand that such questions are very important and the consequences of our conclusions far-reaching. Our understanding and practice concerning abortion is directly related to the time we believe that life begins. Many individuals give little regard to what God says concerning the beginning of life and few show regard to what God has to say concerning the end of life. Many individuals disregard the truths that science has given in regards to human life and search rather for information that will support their desired conclusions.
To understand when life begins, consider the point in time that life ends. With the exception of those living when the Lord returns, all men die. “… It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27 KJV). Solomon concludes that when the human body is broken in death, “then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God …” (Ecclesiastes 12:7 KJV). James wrote, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James. 2: 26). We therefore conclude, when the human spirit departs the body that death has occurred.
Understanding when life ends, let’s consider at what point life begins. Does life begin, at conception, does life begin at some point between conception and birth as some contend or is it as others say at the point of birth? Moses records that a person who so injures a woman with child to the extent that loss of life occurs, they shall pay a penalty (Exodus 21:22-25). We see that God views the unborn child is a living soul and the penalty could reach a “life for life” situation. Other passages in the Word of God indicate that human life begins at conception. In (Luke 1: 41), we see that John while in the womb had life. King David said, “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret … Thine eyes did see my substance, … all my members were written, … were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalms 139:13-16 KJV). According to (Jer. 1:5), God knew and sanctified Jeremiah while he was in the womb. God testified that Jeremiah was a living soul.
While unborn children are not fully formed, they constitute human life at an early stage; just as a teenager is human prior to puberty (a stage in life) so is the child in the womb. The unborn child is more than a sub-human mass to be destroyed at mankind’s whim. Life begins at conception when the spirit enters, the opposite of death.
Finally, the Bible teaches us to revere and preserve human life. The millions of unjustified abortions are evidence of a declining society! Rebellious man unjustifiably kills and then refuses to take life when he should (Rom. 13: 1-7)!
(Tony Hoss is minister at Centerview Church of Christ, Elizabethton.)

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